Mass retesting at Wyoming’s state prison found five new coronavirus cases among inmates, an apparent slowing of the spread there that “encouraged” officials within the Department of Corrections
“Comprehensive retesting has been completed at this facility and of the 726 samples taken there were only 5 positive inmate results and zero staff this round,” department spokesman Mark Horan said in a statement. “We are very encouraged as this indicates our containment efforts have successfully reduced transmission.”
The number of cases at the Rawlins facility had climbed steadily in recent weeks, affecting staff, inmates and health care workers contracted to work at the prison. As of last week, there were 67 active cases among inmates and seven more among staff. More than 100 inmates have now tested positive.
Asked about the total number of active and overall cases within the facility, Horan said those numbers would be released next week.
The penitentiary was housing 571 inmates as of the end of July — the second most in the state’s prison system behind the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
The state’s other penal institutions — in Torrington, Lusk, Riverton and Newcastle — have been impacted by the virus to a far lesser degree than the Rawlins prison. As of last week, there were two active cases between those facilities. Combined, those facilities house nearly 1,300 inmates.